2 DEC 2019
Following the ceremony for this year's Women of the Future Awards, we have caught up with Ayesha Ofori, winner of the Real Estate, Infrastructure & Construction category.
Winning this award was a defining moment, both in my career and in my life. On the night of the awards, I was announced to the audience as a ‘change maker’. I’m determined to do all I can to live up to those words. My aim is to democratise property investment and to help and empower people, particularly those underrepresented in the property sector.
Life is about the journey. The point of my journey, I feel, is to deliver positive impact to those I meet and beyond, using property and the built environment as a vehicle to achieve this. I’m so grateful to the judges for choosing me, to the RICS for sponsoring my category and to the Woman of the Future community, for giving me a platform to continue my work. It was an honour to have been shortlisted – and to win was simply incredible.
Aside from winning the Women of the Future Award, another moment that really stands out for me is when my grandmother was visiting the UK and came to one of my property community events – she was so proud of what I was doing that she told all her friends.
She said to me “I didn’t know you could speak like that…talk so that everyone is listening, paying attention and committing to do things – you must get that from your grandfather”. It took someone else (in this case, my grandmother) to make me take a step back and recognise the importance and impact of my work.
Strong women. From the Michelle Obama’s, Gina Miller’s and Karren Brady’s of the world to the stay-at-home mums looking after their children or the mums juggling motherhood and careers. Also, my mother; I am who I am because of her, how she raised me and the sacrifices she made to ensure I had a great education.
If there aren’t many people who look like you, or you feel you don’t necessarily fit in, this can work in your favour. After all, people are more likely to remember those who stand out and don’t blend in. Use that positively.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself or be different to what you see around you. Differences in thought, opinions and other areas are what drive innovation and change.
Always dream big, and when the naysayers come (and they usually do), use their disbelief to spur you on. It’s quite enjoyable to succeed at things you (and others) don’t think are really possible to achieve.
Lastly, surround yourself with good people who can champion your efforts. No woman is an island, and we all need help and support to get to where we need to be. This applies to personal life and business life. Don’t be afraid to ask for things, and delegate! I couldn’t do everything I do without the support of others and delegating.
Business & management